If someone has sent you a thank you email, you need to respond – but how?
We explain how to respond to any thank you email politely. We’ll show you how your response to a thank you email can help to strengthen your relationship and leave the recipient with a smile as wide as yours.
How to respond to "thank you" emails
We all get hundreds of emails a day, but most of us will still sit up and smile when we receive a thank you email. If someone has sent you a thank you email, you need to respond – but how?
We can show you the best way of politely responding to a thank you email. We’ll show you how your response to a thank you email can help to strengthen your relationship and leave the recipient with a smile as wide as yours.
The key to a positive thank you email is being polite but hitting a personal note – expressing just what the message means to you. But don’t stop there; you can also use the thank you email to build a better relationship.
Learn it all in our guide to writing the best thank-you email responses.
Should you reply to an email just to say "thanks"?
Before we get into the examples, let’s answer a few common questions:
Should you reply to a thank you email?
Understandably, you’re cautious about clogging up someone's inbox, but you should always respond to a thank you email.
- Firstly, you’re acknowledging receipt, so they know it arrived.
- Secondly, it shows you appreciate them taking the time and effort to email you.
- Thirdly, you can use email to build a better relationship – and we’ll show you how.
Can I just say “thanks” in my email response?
If someone says thank you, you can send a simple “thanks” back. But if you’re taking the time to email, adding some extra information makes the email more personal and professional.
When should I send my thank you email response?
If you’re going to send a thank you email response, do it as soon as possible. Ideally, you’ll do it the same day and certainly within 24 hours. Any later than that, and your recipient may wonder why you bothered.
How to say "you're welcome" professionally in an email
The art of saying thank you often involves not saying thank you at all. That’s right, thank you is a throwaway word that doesn’t express much emotion.
OK, if someone thanks you for taking out the garbage, there’s no need to go over the top, but even “I appreciate your email” is better than a bog-standard “thanks”.
Here are some alternatives you can use. (While some may use thanks, they’re not “thank you”, so they still count!)
- I appreciate your message
- Your message means a lot to me
- Thanks for the kind words
- Glad I could help
- It’s great to know I’ve made a difference
- It’s my pleasure!
- No need to say thanks; it’s what I do
These are just a few examples of how to say thanks without saying thanks. You can see some more examples below or develop your own.
Your replies must reflect the context. You can be less formal when responding to thanks from a friend, for example, than your boss or MD.
"Thank you" email response format
We've written the best guides in the world on how to structure formal emails, so be sure to check that out!
The core of any thank you response email is the same, with these four essential parts:
- Subject line
We normally suggest considering your signature, but since this person has emailed you before, they’ll know who you are, so don’t worry about it.
Let’s delve into each section in more detail.
This is easy; as you’re responding to the email thread, just click reply, and you’ll use the same one!
OK, if you want to, you can start a whole new email thread, but there is no need.
If you’re emailing someone you know, so there’s no need to be overly fussy and formal. Don’t worry about using “Dear”. Instead, you can use something like “hello” or “hi”.
You don’t need to go into massive amounts of detail when responding to a thank you email unless you want to.
The body copy should express your thanks (obviously), but you can also use it to provide some extra relevant information.
Let’s say a customer expresses their thanks for something you’ve done; why not ask them to leave a review on your Trustpilot?
Or if your manager thanks you for something you’ve done, highlight some of the other things you’ve done (and then arrange a meeting to discuss your raise!
Or, in another example, you can reply to a recruiter thank you email with a request to stay in touch about new opportunities.
There’s no need to overthink your sign-off. A simple “kind regards”, “many thanks”, or “speak soon” will suffice.
How to reply to a “thank you” email professionally examples
1. "Thank you" reply email for appreciation
Receiving a thank you email in appreciation of something you’ve done is great, so double up the love and send one back. This email thank you reply is fairly formal, so it’s suitable to use with a boss, customer or colleague.
Despite warning against it, we’re using “thank you” here. Why? Because it’s the easiest way to express how you’re feeling, but swap it for something else if you prefer.
1.1. How to reply to an appreciation email from your boss
Getting a thank you email from your boss is a lovely bonus (although not quite as lovely as money, which will hopefully follow!).
When you message your boss back, you might want to highlight some of your great work, so she understands how valuable you are. That’s the approach we take in this reply to an appreciation email from a boss.
1.2 How to reply for an appreciation email from a manager
What’s the difference between a manager and a boss? A manager is a person who directs you on a day-to-day basis; your boss could be any senior manager.
The distinction matters here because you can be less formal with a manager you see daily. (On the flip side, don’t be informal with a senior boss, you never know how they’ll take it).
In this reply to appreciation from a manager, we keep the message short and snappy.
1.3 How to reply for appreciation email from client
When emailing a client, keep things brief and formal (unless they’re a friend or someone you have known for a long time).
Sometimes lighthearted, informal and funny emails don’t translate well, so just go with the basics. See how that works in this reply to an appreciation email from a client.
2. "Thank you" reply to introduction email
Introduction emails are an essential part of the networking process; you should always say thanks if a friend, colleague or boss has introduced you to someone new – and here’s how.
Check out our thank you reply to an introduction email.
3. Reply to a candidate "thank you" email
If you’re interviewing candidates, you’ll inevitably receive a candidate thank you email.
The interview process is complex, and you’re limited in what you can say, so stick to the basics, and you’ll be respecting all rules and giving every candidate a fair chance of success.
4. Sample reply to "thank you" email from customer
If a customer has taken the time to message you, that’s a great sign you’re getting something right! We’ll assume they’re contacting you about a product, so let’s push them to do a little more.
See how that works in our reply to a thank you email from a customer.
"Thank you" email reply template
Let’s go back to basics with this thank you email reply template. This should provide a simple basis for any thank you reply emails for clients, customers, bosses, and more.
Be sure to adapt it and add a bit more personality
"Thank you" email reply with Flowrite
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Wiring a thank you email response isn’t as easy as it appears. You’ve got to acknowledge what has been said and offer some words on what it means and what you’ll do with the update.
Use our thank you response emails to strengthen your relationship with your customers, clients, candidates, or boss.
It’s great to receive thanks and even better to send it – so consider reaching out to someone who has helped you. You can see how they reply and compare it to our examples here.
In today's world, a little bit of kindness can go a long way.
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